Saturday, 23 January 2010

Lor' luv a duck! Roselea. Know what I mean?

So much has been happing and since my last posting, and in the space of just a few day’s as well! Now what was it that Harold Wilson said about a long time in (admittedly British) politics?

Well with so much happing, much to think about before I felt like submitting or committing anything to the blog. I read something yesterday, which made me stop and think for a time, about our changing times!

Things do change, and they change it seems these days’ at an enflaming rapid rate. In a story I came across in the East London Advertiser, and will find that here,  about the old greasy spoon’s of old and in particular a traditional East End 'caff', reminding me that not long ago they were a common sight, and all over London, the word Café it’s very being was a common high street resident amongst the other shops. The old café acquainted more with the 50/60s is about to fade away into nothing more than living memory, and with little complaint in the least, and not any from the fixture and fittings that make Rossi's on Hanbury Street in Spitalfields. This is one caff which I never had the opportunity of visiting in my time. But I do have some great memories of dining or breakfasting in such establishments.

Some of the best fry-ups I’ve ever had, they made tea with such skill and perfection, the brew was Britain’s first drink long before coffee. The working man’s café soon to be a no-more; was a real institution an essential of the community; mothers stopping off having delivered the kids safely to School; they made the time, it was part of life’s ritual, the cuppa and chat, the London Black Cab drivers had their own favourites, and I always made a point of using the ones endorsed by the Black Cabs.

Oh, and that one special ingredient that above all else was the wholesome, nourishing, home cooking, egg and chips will never again taste quite the same. I remember a lovely little Italian setup in Kings Cross, it was called the A1 café and it did fantastic Spaghetti and the chips served as a side dish. At one time some of North London was referred to as little Italy because of the number of Italian’s who lived owned or were generally associated with what was next to fish and chips an institution, a custom that for a long time has been an important feature of society; and the old café fell into the middle of working class community, even today’s great British TV soups have a café or a pub sometimes centre-staging their scripted plots, what about Sid’s café in the ‘Last of the Sumer Wine’. . They became haunts for teenagers in particular; Italian-run espresso bars and their formica-topped tables were a feature of 1950s Soho that provided a backdrop as well as a title for Cliff Richard’s 1960 film Expresso Bongo.

Well I think the café has a special place in this islands cultural history that holds such diversity to which this is but only a peace of the jigsaw!

One other point about the café which we Socialists and freethinkers should remember at its demise and yes’ it’s death sadly!

The cafe evolved out of and from the old 17th century coffee houses. Café the French word for coffeehouse means an informal restaurant, offering arange of hot meals and beverages. They were community meeting points from the start, if you like the first community centers, and as such it shouldn’t be surprising to find that they played such prominence in the history and development of the Labour movement. We all have to move on with the time; that’s the way it is just like the tide, it comes in, and on its way out it takes far out to sea its debris - that something that has been destroyed and broken up!
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